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How to get taller at 12 years old (boys and girls)

How to get taller at 12 years old (boys and girls)

If you want to learn how to grow taller at 12—as a boy or as a girl—then this article will be very helpful indeed. Almost every child will grow taller after the age of 12, and this guide will help you to maximize this crucial period of physical development.

Related Height Guides:

How to grow taller at 12 years old as a boy 

A boy demonstrating how to grow taller at 12 years old

Statistically, between the ages of 12 and 13, most 12 year old boys will get around 3 inches taller. So, in order to grow taller at 12 years old as a boy at the optimal rate, you need to eat a nutritious diet that contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

We’ll get into the specific height-increasing nutrients in just a minute, but first, let’s get a general overview of how to get taller at 12 years old.

According to the NHS, 12 year old children need to perform at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on a daily basis. Crucially, there are two specific types of exercise that you need to be performing. [1]

The first is aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, and cycling. Any type of activity that gets your heart pumping is usually considered to be aerobic—or, at the very least, have an aerobic component to it.

Strength training is the next type of exercise that every 12 year old boy and girl should be performing. This doesn’t mean that you need to be throwing around heavy weights in the gym, but you should be doing some kind of resistance training, such as bodyweight squats, push-ups, and burpees, to strengthen your muscles and bones.

In addition to performing plenty of exercise, growing 12 year old boys and girls need around 9-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours. [2] Getting enough sleep will make sure that your body produces plenty of height-increasing growth hormone during the night.

How to increase the height of a 12 year girl

A girl getting her height measured with a stadiometer

Increasing the height of a 12 year old girl is very similar to that of increasing the height of a 12 year old boy, although, from the age of 12 onwards, girls won’t grow quite as rapidly as their male peers.

A growing girl can expect to gain around an inch of height between the ages of 12 and 13. Some girls might grow taller than this in a year if they have the genetics to be tall, whereas others might not experience much more than half an inch of height increase, if that.

Still, the same guidelines apply. Twelve year old girls need to nourish their bodies with all of the necessary vitamins and minerals. 

In other words, when you’re trying to grow taller, you don’t want to be deficient in any vital nutrients, such as zinc or vitamin D. More on that in a minute.

On the exercise side of things, both 12 year old girls and boys need to do resistance training (it’s not just for the boys) as well as aerobic activity. 

Simple bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and burpees are a great way to strengthen your muscles and bones without risking injury, which can be a problem with free weights.

What to eat to get taller at 12

A selection of healthy foods including bread, milk, and vegetables

What should 12 year olds eat to get taller? 12 year old boys and girls need to eat a complete and balanced diet if they want to get taller. This means getting enough protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates so that your body has enough energy to grow and develop.

Yet, you also need a variety of vitamins and minerals so that your body is in an ideal state of health to grow taller.

As an example, research shows that vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher levels of body fat and a shorter stature. [3] This is a reason why many parents, under the guidance of a physician, give their children vitamin D supplements when it’s not sunny outside.

Zinc is another important nutrient that is often lacking in the diets of many 12-year-olds, especially those who don’t eat much red meat. Foods like shellfish are also high in zinc, but if a twelve year old doesn’t consume much meat or fish, then a trace mineral supplement can oftentimes be beneficial.

What exercises can help you to get taller at 12 years old?

Children swimming

Exercising outdoors is a great 2-for-1 activity because your body gets the exercise it needs, and, depending on the climate, you also get a good dose of vitamin D.

But even if it’s too cold to go outside and exercise, 12 year old girls and boys can still stimulate growth hormone production by performing indoor exercises, like jumping jacks, running on the spot, and skipping.

Push-ups are another good option that you can do with no equipment. And if you don’t yet have the strength to do full push-ups, you can do them on your knees instead.

You typically want to do at least 1-2 exercises for your upper body and 1-2 drills for your lower body. This way, you’re strengthening all of your major muscles and bones rather than just a select few.

Can you get taller overnight at 12 years old?

A boy showing how to get taller at 12 years old

A very common question: Can you get taller overnight at 12 years old? Technically, if your body is currently growing, then you can get taller overnight at 12 years old, but not to any noticeable degree.

You see, even during puberty, significant and noticeable height growth takes months to manifest itself. So while it might be possible to grow an inch or so in a few months, if you’re in a high-velocity growth phase, you won’t see any difference in the space of a day.

However, maintaining good posture and standing tall can certainly help you to look taller. Just don’t be fooled into doing any weird height-boosting exercises because none of them provide long-term increases in stature.

Is it common to have a growth spurt at 12 years old?

A boy getting his height measured with a stadiometer

Yes, it’s definitely common to have a growth spurt at the age of 12, although many children tend to grow at different rates and at different times.

As mentioned, most boys will grow around 3 inches between the ages of 12 and 13, whereas most girls will grow around an inch during this same time period.

Other than getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly (which is probably more than most 12 year olds do), there isn’t much that you can do to speed up your height development.

In conclusion: How to grow taller at 12 naturally

Many people these days want to get taller but can’t because their growth plates have closed. Luckily, the age of 12 is a prime time to grow taller and increase your height. All you need to do is have patience and follow the basic advice given in this article.

As a quick recap, you need to consume a nutritious diet complete with sufficient quantities of all the macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, fats—as well as enough vitamins and minerals.

After that, you need to perform a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercises to promote cardiovascular health, bone strength, and growth hormone production.

Finally, you need to round out the day with 9 or more hours of restful sleep, another necessary activity that promotes GH production.


  1. NHS website. (2022d, September 13). Physical activity guidelines for children and young people. Retrieved from
  2. Sleep in Middle and High School Students | Healthy Schools | CDC. Retrieved from
  3. Kremer, R., Campbell, P. P., Reinhardt, T., & Gilsanz, V. (2009). Vitamin D status and its relationship to body fat, final height, and peak bone mass in young women. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism94(1), 67–73.